ERC's analysis of voters' roll

HARARE - Election Resource Centre (ERC) conducted an analysis of the voters’ roll shared by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) on June 18, 2018.

Below are some key aspects of the analysis done by the ERC which complements efforts of other partners in assessing the state of the voters’ rolls shared by Zec ahead of the July 30, 2018 harmonised elections.

Same identity numbers used to register multiple times

The analysis of the voters’ roll by ERC points to same identity document (ID) numbers being used to register multiple times.

This should technically not be possible if Zec conducted a deduplication process based on the Automated Finger Print Identification System.

The voters’ roll must not accept such entries which may suggest duplicate registrants, if the voters’ roll is to be accurate.

Same addresses used in registering voters in different wards

Zec conducted a polling station mapping exercise to allocate voters to polling stations. It should therefore not be possible for the same address to appear in multiple wards.

If for instance, the threshold of registered voters per polling station is to be exceeded, Zec should have simply placed additional polling stations in the same ward than moving voters to different wards all together.

If voters’ addresses were necessary for voters to be allocated polling stations, this trend must not be possible and therefore questions the accuracy of the voters’ roll.

Same full name, same date of birth but different identity numbers

It is highly unlikely in Zimbabwe that voters can possess same full names and dates of birth with slightly different identity numbers.

In the past, such entries have been disputed as potentially representing so called “ghost voters.”

While the challenge with such entries may arise from a potentially flawed civil registry, the biometric voter registration system should have been able to flag these issues out before the release of the roll.

Any potential duplicates such as the ones flagged out in all analysis done so far raise questions around the accuracy of the voters’ roll.

Same names with slightly different identity numbers registered using different addresses

This has been a contested matter in previous voters’ rolls as shared in the past. The pattern suggests some duplicity, unless otherwise clarified via the biometric voters’ roll through which facial recognition can be used to verify if these individuals are indeed different from each other.

Of course, such a pattern could easily be rectified through a credible civil registry. Given the stage we are, a credible voters’ roll should be able to flag such entries until they are clarified as being authentic. Such entries, without being verified raise questions around the accuracy of the voters’ roll.

Addresses with phone numbers

The question of consistency of the voters’ roll is raised on the basis of some entries that have mobile numbers while others do not.

Mobile numbers were collected by Zec for purposes of communicating with individual voters. In outlining what should be provided for on the voters’ roll, there has never been any mention of mobile numbers.

This absence of consistency is purely on Zec who could have done a more thorough job in cleaning up the voters’ roll.

The biometric voter registration system should also have been able to pick up such inconsistencies in the creation of a voters’ roll. The fact that the errors were not picked up raises questions about the voters’ roll and the processes leading up to the finalisation of the document.

Voting addresses that are unnamed

The absence of full addresses on some entries on the voters’ roll raises questions around accuracy and consistency of the voters’ roll as it relates to how Zec was able to allocate such entries to polling stations.

Given that polling stations are allocated on the basis of residency, Zec would need to revisit such entries to enhance accuracy and to maintain consistency on the voters’ roll.

Having some entries containing full details while others do not, naturally affects the credibility of the voters’ roll and it would be important for such inconsistencies to be addressed before the final voters’ roll is published.

Again, this is a flaw that could be easily addressed if a more thorough job was conducted in cleaning up the voters’ roll.

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